Tag Archives: ducklings

At the ponds

We went for a stroll at the Pauatahanui Forest and Bird Reserve yesterday afternoon on a day that heralded summer.
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The first pond offered some “Ducks are a-dabbling, Up tails all!” (The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame)….well in the third photo it is up tails all.
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These were young ducks accompanied by their mother and sharing this pond with at least once other, very shy, duck family.

A Pukeko was poking about on an island in the pond but was reluctant to stand clear of foliage and with zoom at full stretch the photo is not that clear. Its camouflage is excellent bar its pristine white undergarments.
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We sat at a second pond and admired the reflections and the Welcome Swallows zooming and darting above our heads.
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All seemed quiet and still until out drifted this duck with her 8 very new ducklings.
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Our patience was well rewarded and our reserves replenished from some time out in nature.

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Family time at the Lake

I nipped down to post a package on Wednesday and took a few minutes to see how the Coot family was faring. The wind was bitterly cold and at first there was just a sole parent in their usual spot. Across the other side of the lake I could see another pair of adult Coots and their young one so I went around the path to try and get some photos of that family.
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However the Black Swan family were on the look- out for food or for dangers and with rather a lot of out-stretched neck movements from the parents I thought better of going towards them. I felt happier to pause and take photos of them once they were in the lake with their flotilla of 6 cygnets.
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By the time I retraced my footsteps I spotted the Coot family I have photographed here and here and here. Look at these well-grown chicks now!
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The devoted parents were working very hard to fill these bellies and I suspect it will not be long before the young are being encouraged to dip, head first, tail upwards into the lake to find food.

In a nice warm sheltered spot I found Mr and Mrs Duck and their three tiny ducklings. Mrs Duck close by and father duck on sentry duty.
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And not far away in the shelter of a church building the Pukekos had bought their balls of fluff on extraordinarily long legs, out to graze and sun bake on the warm concrete path.
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Happy families!

“For every act of senseless violence in the world, use your camera to record random acts of beauty” Dewitt Jones

So in an antidote to senseless violence in the world here are some photos received by me during this past week. Soak up the beauty and light.
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Parenting skills

I went back to the Aotea Lagoon for another walk in the sunshine and to see the Paradise duck family again.

Here is Mum standing guard while Dad is not so far away but guarding the other angles.

Clever birds. But where are the ducklings?

As usual they are between the parents but down in the water playing in a cove-like area of the stone edging, near a pipe outlet.

Suddenly, as small creatures do, it is time to explore other areas. Up on to the warm path.

After several dashes back to the water and back up to the path, the parents decide it is nap time.

They escort their brood across the path, but there is always one isn’t there?

But this baby knows its parents will not leave it behind, snoozing on the dangerous path. Come over here on the grass where there is less traffic.

Happily the wee ones snuggle together for nap time in the afternoon sun with Mum and Dad standing on guard once again. And Mum can even risk a little preening time.

Taking the family out on a Sunday afternoon

We put on our warm jackets and headed out to the Aotea Lagoon yesterday after the storm had passed over. I had a degree of cabin fever. The southern end of the Lagoon area is more sheltered so we walked around there noting the effects the gales had had on the wisteria and the blossoms that had been so luxuriant the week before.

The surprise came when we saw this lovely family of Paradise Shelducks ( Putangitangi) out for a Sunday afternoon expedition and free meal from the children with stale bread on offer.

Paradise ducks mate for life and these two were vigilant, attentive parents. I love the zebra-like markings on their 8 wee ducklings.

Mother duck is at the front of the photo, while Daddy duck holds the rear guard. Nature determines that the mother has the brighter plumage in this species.